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The Birthplace of Effingham County

Jerusalem Church Cemetery

One of the gates to the Jerusalem Church Cemetery.

The white posts surrounding the cemetery marks where at least 250 unmarked graves are located outside the walls of the church’s cemetery.

The first recorded burials in the New Ebenezer Cemetery were in 1736. There was a custom the Salzburgers brought over from the old country that stipulated that the only person to be buried in a coffin would be a mother that died in childbirth. All others were placed on a board and wrapped in a white cloth for burial. Pastors Boltzius and Gronau, the early spiritual and secular leaders of the colony are buried in this cemetery.
Source: Pamphlet: “Walking Tour of New Ebenezer;” researched and written by John W. Gnann, assisted by Norman Turner.

Notes from the recent rededication:

Prayers for those who died long ago filled the sanctuary and grounds of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Saturday during services held for those buried in at least 250 unmarked graves outside the walls of the church’s cemetery. Many of the graves belong to slaves, buried just south of the church cemetery that contains generations of the area’s descendants, the Salzburgers. Other unmarked graves are also located outside the cemetery’s brick walls, on the side nearest the New Ebenezer Retreat Center. The graves may contain those of soldiers and civilians who died during the Revolutionary War. The graves were identified by a team, led by Dan Elliott, with the LAMAR Institute. The work was done with the support of the Georgia Salzburger Society. The institute is a nonprofit archaeological research organization. The team used ground-penetrating radar to find the graves with no disturbance of the soil. The work was done in 2010 with the purpose of determining the cemetery’s lines.